On Thursday night, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 ended its season with stunts, gags, trickery and some buffoonery. The top four queens wrote and performed in a sickening live music video for RuPaul’s “Kitty Girl.” Then, after presenting their best drag on the runway, the four were faced with a jury of the eliminated queens who ultimately chose the top two queens to lip sync against one another.
In a shocking vote, Kennedy Davenport was sent into the top two with Trixie Mattel, leaving Shangela and BeBe Zahara Benet eliminated. The two queens lip synced to Miley Cyrus’ hit song “Wrecking Ball.” Trixie ended up winning the lip sync, and therefore the crown of All Stars 3.
Still though, Kennedy ultimately earned the most votes from the eliminated queens to send her to the top two. Kennedy talked to Billboard about making the top two, handling racism from Drag Race fans and what makes pageant queens not so different from other drag queens.
Congratulations on making the top two in the finale! How are you feeling after everything that went down?
I am so good! You know what, I was complete on the show, and I am still complete now, so I feel great.
Even though you didn’t take home the crown, you did receive the most votes from the eliminated queens. How did that feel when you found out?
It was so great, I immediately posted it. That was just showing that everything I did on the show was validated, and I’m so grateful to those queens. I did not think I was gonna make the top two at all. [laughs] No ma’am.
You talked on the show about feeling under-appreciated by the show’s fans — do you think that’s going to change now?
It originally happened a few times, and it happened when more than one Drag Race girl would get booked at a gig, and we had a meet and greet. I guess it was more about the fact that the fans would flock to their favorite first, and I would be standing and waiting until they finished being with whoever, and then they would come to me. So that’s what I mean by “second thought.”
It definitely has changed. I think All Stars 3 allowed me to do more than I was doing on season 7. So because I gave more, I was allowed to see more and to appreciate more, and I think the fans really get that.
There has been a lot of online discussion for a while about how race and racism play a role in who the fans favor. Do you think that there’s truth to that?
I don’t think race has anything to do with results. Within Drag Race itself, I don’t think that there is anything with racism going on. But I do think it’s the fans that turn it into a race issue. I mean, I believe that it’s all about taste level and mostly the lack of knowledge. You know, these young fans, they like what they like, and they are entitled to that, but they don’t really know how to like what they like and respect others. And a lot of things that we as African-Americans do may get a different response if someone that is not African-American may do. And it’s just been proven season after season.
If I — or another African-American queen — make shady comments, I get labeled as a bitch or bitter or something negative. And someone who is not African-American may say the exact same thing, and they’ll say “Oh, she’s funny! Oh, she’s just playing!” That has happened, it has been proven. But it comes down to a lack of knowledge and a lack of respect when it comes to the art of female impersonation, because that has no color. But you have young 13, 14 year olds who only like what catches their eye, and then everything else is wrong.
In the finale, you mentioned that your pageant background helped you in the interview with the eliminated girls. What’s something about pageant queens that you wished people knew?
They should understand that we are no different from any other queen. The only thing that separates pageant queens from any other queen is that we are groomed to compete. We’re groomed to present ourselves in a certain way. We groom ourselves to look right from head to toe. That is the only thing that really separates us, but at the end of the day, we are no different. I just kinda hate that people just throw us under this category of “pageant queens.” But hey, it is what it is, child. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, shit [laughs].
You got caught mispronouncing the word “memes” earlier in the season. Do you have a favorite Kennedy meme from this season or season 7?
From this season, I haven’t really gotten into it. I haven’t been really looking at memes from this season. But I really love my memes from season 7. Especially my Little Richard ones [laughs]. I even have one from Skin Wars where I flip and kicked a dummy, I love that one a lot.
Who is your favorite local queen down in Texas?
Oh lord, there’s so many girls who deserve more opportunities that are from Texas. I mean, there’s Layla LaRue, Raquel Blake, Jenna Skyy, who works with Asia O’Hara from season 10 at the Rose Room in Dallas. All of them are such creative, great queens. There’s a lot of San Antonio queens, Houston queens — Texas is drag central, honey. And I think that if the girls were put in the tape, and the production would actually give them an opportunity, they would be a great addition to Drag Race.